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City Of Raleigh Hopes To Make Downtown Living More Accessible

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Most people believe living in downtown Raleigh will cost them an arm and a leg, at least for a nice place to live. But that's not the case, some downtown residents say.

"A lot of people say downtown isn't affordable, but you just have to look a little further," said Andrew Stewart, who lives in downtown Raleigh. "It's plenty affordable; there're a lot of options."

Stewart and his wife make less than $46,000 a year, he said. They qualified for a city program that allowed them to purchase a new, custom-made house for less than $150,000.

The Raleigh Urban Design Center wants everyone to know about such opportunities and the diverse options of living in downtown Raleigh. So this weekend, the center is sponsoring the first ever Downtown Living Home Tour. Tickets for the tour are $10, and they're available for purchase at the Raleigh Urban Design Center at 133 Fayetteville Street. Proceeds from the tour will be used to highlight downtown issues.

The Art of Downtown Living

Along with open houses at fancy penthouses, there'll be open houses at apartments for rent and condos to buy, in every price range.

"The big story is that downtown is for everyone," Dan Douglas of the Raleigh Urban Design Center said. "We want everyone to feel like they can live downtown and take part of it."

The city has been working to make downtown living more accessible to everyone. In fact, nearly half of the 724 units under construction are considered affordable housing.

Over the next five years, the city expects 4,000 new residents in downtown.

Stewart, who walks to work, couldn't be happier with his location.

"The excitement of the first house combined with where we wanted it to be, it does make me smile all the time to come home and just see it," he said.

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